DENVER – Colorado Rockies prospect Colton Welker has been suspended by Major League Baseball for 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, the league announced Thursday.
Welker, a third baseman and infielder ranked as the Rockies’ No. 11 prospect, is suspended effective immediately. He had been assigned to the Rockies Triple-A club, the Albuquerque Isotopes, who are set to play their first game of the season Thursday at home against Sugar Land.
Welker made the Rockies’ 40-man roster after hitting .362, with 2 home runs and 12 RBIs, in 47 at bats during spring training.
MLB said he tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT), which is banned under MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The Rockies said they were “disappointed” to learn of Welker’s positive test.
“The Rockies organization fully supports MLB’s Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and we believe that Colton will learn from this experience,” the team said in a statement.
Welker said in a statement issued by the MLB Players Association that he was surprised and disappointed to learn of his positive test.
“I want to make it very clear that I have never willingly nor intentionally ingested any substance to enhance my athletic performance. Given the information provided to me by the Players Association and laboratory, the amount detected was so minimal that it would have no effect on enhancing my performance. I understand that a number of other players, like me, have tested positive for this metabolite at microscopic levels, and I intend to join them in seeking answers as to how this is happening in order to clear my name,” Welker said in a statement.
“I hope to continue to receive the support of those who truly know the person I am, and what my family and I stand for,” Welker added.
The 23-year-old from Florida had so far hit .313 in four Minor League seasons, with 34 home runs and 204 RBI in 330 games, including the 2019 fall season.